Choosing a resort to stay in during your next Walt Disney World vacation can be an overwhelming decision to make. With so many different resorts and categories to choose from, it’s all about finding the option that fits your personal budget and needs. Today we’re going to look at all of the Walt Disney World resorts, ranking them based on their resort category. Whether you are looking for a value, moderate, or deluxe resort for your next stay, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive resort guide today.
Disney Value Resorts
The Disney Value resort category is a good option for families who are traveling on a budget. While staying at Disney is certainly not a cheap option, these resorts do make it more affordable for large families and groups. All of these resorts have bold themes and rooms, so they are ideal for families with younger children. Expect large swimming pools and quick-service dining locations but fewer recreation and sit-down dining opportunities. These are our top picks for anyone booking a room within this category in 2022.
Art of Animation
Taking the number one position for the value category is Art of Animation. This is one of our favorite resorts on property for families with young children and offers a variety of different room options. While they offer standard rooms in The Little Mermaid section, you might want to consider upgrading to one of the family suites. These are themed around The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars, and they have a master bedroom and two bathrooms within the unit. As they can sleep up to six people, they often work out good value in comparison to purchasing two separate rooms. However, keep in mind these certainly make a stay here more costly than you might expect.
As far as the theming of the resort, you’ll find Disney touches everywhere you look. There are multiple themed pools to choose from, all of which are very large to accommodate the number of people staying here. The modern food court and shopping area are great for grabbing a quick meal. Finally, one of the best reasons to book a stay here is due to the addition of the Skyliner transportation system. This means getting to Hollywood Studios or Epcot is even quicker and easier than before, and it’s a great perk for a value resort to have. Click here for more information on Art of Animation.
Pop Century shares many of the same benefits that we mentioned for Art of Animation above. You’ll enjoy the Disney Skyliner transportation system and fun theming based on the decades of the past. This is our favorite value resort for adults or couples who are looking to enjoy Disney on a budget. You’ll find that the rooms here have been recently renovated, and you’ll enjoy a large food court and multiple swimming pools. Kids will still enjoy the Disney touches that can be found throughout the resort and the larger-than-life decorations it is so well known for. To see more information on Pop Century, click here.
Out of the three All-Star resorts, this has to be our favorite. It’s a good choice for adults and families and offers some of the cheapest hotel rates in Walt Disney World. This part of the resort attracts fewer large groups than the other All-Star resorts, making it a little quieter in the pools and dining area. You’ll find that All-Star Movies has large swimming pools, a great food court, and standard rooms which offer all of the amenities you’d need for a visit to the parks. Many people find they spend no time at all in their resort, and if that’s what you imagine will happen on your next trip, this would be a good choice for you.
Other Value Resort Options: All-Star Sports and All-Star Movies
The other two value resorts that you might consider staying in are All-Star Sports and All-Star Movies. They offer similar accommodation and facilities to that of All-Star Music, with different theming based on the one you choose. You’ll find these have some great deals in comparison to the other Disney resorts and can be easy to find availability for when you book a last-minute trip. For anyone who is planning to spend no time at all in their room, it’s a great way to save money on your next Walt Disney World adventure.
Disney Moderate Resorts
If you fancy upgrading your stay at Walt Disney World a little bit, consider the moderate category. These resorts are great for adults on a budget who are looking for a quieter resort with a few more amenities. This is how we would rank the Disney Moderate resorts when booking a stay for 2022.
Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans French Quarter recently reopened following an extended closure. It’s one of our favorite resorts for couples and adults in the whole of Walt Disney World. This resort is attached to Port Orleans Riverside, but it’s the smaller and more intimate part of the resort. You’ll find one swimming pool here and a quick-service dining location. When staying here, don’t miss out on the delicious beignets that the resort is so well known for. If you enjoy walking, you’ll love strolling around this resort and admiring the beautiful view over the river. One of the best perks of staying here is the boat to Disney Springs, which gives you a unique transportation option for your next vacation. Click here for more information on French Quarter and Riverside.
Fort Wilderness Cabins
When looking at the moderate resort category, you might overlook Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. However, the cabins here are the top option in this category for larger families. You’ll find that the cabins sleep up to six adults, with one queen bed and a set of bunk beds in separate rooms. The resort itself is perfect for anyone who is looking to plan a unique Disney trip. You’ll find that you are immersed in nature, with your cabin located in the middle of the woods. We find this accommodation option to be great for anyone looking to save money on a Disney trip without resorting to camping, as you can cook meals in the kitchen in your cabin. On top of that, there’s no end to the facilities and things to do in this resort, making it somewhere you could visit for vacation without even stepping foot in the parks. Whether you want to camp or stay in a cabin, checkout Fort Wilderness by clicking here.
It’s a tough choice for third place in the moderate category, but we’ve awarded it to Coronado Springs. The recent addition of the Gran Destino Tower has really upgraded this resort, and its rooms and facilities are comparable to those in the deluxe category. The resort itself is a lakeside American Southwest-themed resort, with plenty of great restaurants and swimming pools for families to enjoy. Rooms here contain all of the standard amenities of a moderate resort, but it’s known for having added extra facilities at the resort due to it also being a conference center. For those looking to upgrade their stay, definitely consider the Gran Destino Tower, which also offers club-level rooms.
Other Moderate Resort Options: Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach
We would happily stay in any of the moderate resorts at Walt Disney World. Port Orleans Riverside is connected to Port Orleans French Quarter but is a little larger than the other resort. It’s a good option for families due to the numerous pools and various recreation options on offer. Caribbean Beach is one of the longest-running resorts on the property. It now has the benefit of the Disney Skyliner transportation, as the hub for this transport option is based at this resort.
Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts
For visitors to Walt Disney World who are looking to enjoy a special vacation for their whole family, you’ll want to consider the Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts. These resorts have all of the amenities you could possibly imagine. With so many different themes and locations to choose from, these are our top recommendations for anyone with an unlimited budget for their next trip.
Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort was one of the opening-day resorts. It offers a wide range of accommodation options, including stunning water bungalows with views over to the Magic Kingdom. This resort really does have something for everyone in your party, from young children up to older couples. The dining here is incredible, with ‘Ohana and Kona Café being family favorite restaurants. Kids will love the feature pool here, whereas adults will enjoy the outdoor bar on offer nearby. The best thing about this resort is its proximity to the Magic Kingdom, thanks to the direct monorail or boat service to the parks.
Yacht and Beach Club
For adults who love spending their park time in Epcot, you can’t go wrong with the Yacht Club or Beach Club, which allow you to walk directly into the park’s second entrance or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While both resorts have slightly different theming and restaurants to choose from, they both share the largest swimming pool in Walt Disney World. Stormalong Bay is an incredible pool with slides and plenty of space for families. You’ll struggle to tear the kids away from this pool, as they’ll enjoy it just as much as the parks. We love the wide variety of restaurants on offer here, so you can choose somewhere new to dine each day of your trip.
During the winter months, Wilderness Lodge is our favorite resort for a cozy stay in Orlando. You’ll have a great range of accommodation options here, thanks to the addition of the Boulder Ridge Villas and the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins. The theming here is of America’s National Parks, and you’ll love the swimming pool and dining options on offer. Families with kids of all ages will enjoy staying here, and when it’s time to head to the parks, you can hop on a boat to the Magic Kingdom for a scenic journey to start off your day.
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
If you are looking for the most luxurious accommodation in Walt Disney World, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is our top pick. This resort is located within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom but also benefits from the boat and monorail. The resort can feel a little stuffy for younger children, but they do have some beautiful swimming pools they’ll enjoy. If fine dining is something you are after, you’ll love eating at Narcoossee’s and enjoy the views over to the fireworks after a busy day at the parks. The spa is also a lovely addition to a stay here and allows you to relax after traipsing around the parks.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is usually the most affordable resort in this category, but you’ll find the DVC options are good for larger parties as well. The resort is split between two buildings, which include the Jambo House or Kidani Village with its villas. The theming here is like nowhere else on the property, and you can wake up each morning to views of animals from your balcony. Choose from a standard hotel room or villas with up to three bedrooms for a stay to fit your family’s needs. The dining here is excellent too, with Sanaa at Kidani Village and Boma at Jambo House being our top two picks. You can find more information on Animal Kingdom Lodge here.
Other Deluxe Resort Options
There are so many resorts to choose from when it comes to looking at the Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa categories. If none of the resorts we listed above are available or fit your needs, these are the others you can check out. You really can’t go wrong with any of these deluxe resorts, and they all offer incredible facilities for families and visitors of all ages.
Disney’s Riviera Resort
This is the newest resort in Walt Disney World and offers modern accommodation options. We particularly like the addition of the studios, which are perfect for couples who don’t require so much space. You’ll be able to hop on the Skyliner to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot, and you can also walk to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort for more dining options. Make sure you don’t miss the character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace, which also offers stunning views over the resort.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Located very close to the Yacht & Beach Club resorts, you’ll enjoy walking to Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios from the BoardWalk. This resort is themed like a seaside boardwalk and has some of the most extensive dining options around. You can choose from standard rooms and larger villas, and guests will appreciate the family-friendly swimming pool and recreation options.
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is located close to Disney Springs, and you can walk directly to this area from your room. For the ultimate vacation, consider booking a three-bedroom treehouse villa here. They do book up fast, but you’ll find they are one of the most unique vacation accommodation options at Walt Disney World.
Old Key West Resort
Old Key West Resort is where the Disney Vacation Club first started, and it’s still a very popular resort with people who visit regularly. Accommodation here comes in all shapes and sizes, and you’ll enjoy being able to cook in your own kitchen in some of the larger rooms. It’s a very laid-back and charming resort and great for extended family trips.
Finally, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower are great options for anyone planning to spend the majority of their trip in the Magic Kingdom. You can walk directly to the park, or hop on the monorail if you prefer. California Grill is one of the best restaurants in Walt Disney World, and it’s the perfect place to watch the new fireworks at the end of the night. Click here to see more on the Contemporary Resort.
Where to Stay on Your Next Walt Disney World Vacation
Choosing a Walt Disney World resort is a very personal decision. It comes down to considering your family’s budget and needs for your next vacation. You’ll find that there are excellent resort options in every category, and wherever you stay, you’ll have a vacation to remember. If you can afford to upgrade to the deluxe resorts, we highly recommend doing this for your next trip. The accommodation in all of these resorts is excellent and provides you with everything you could imagine and more. Of course, if you are looking to spend every minute of your day in the theme parks, it might not be worth spending extra on your room. Think about the additional dining reservations or unique experiences you could add on instead and find a resort that fits your family’s needs for the time you are visiting.
When it comes to planning a Walt Disney World vacation, we encourage you to book your resort as soon as possible. The resorts on property all get booked up very quickly, so if you have one in mind for your next trip, think about making your reservation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.